If incoming president of the Philippines, Rodrigo R. Duterte, is so serious about bringing back the death penalty, if he’s really pro-justice, let Enrile, Napoles, Macapagal-Arroyo, and corrupt ELECTED officials (most especially those in the local government unit) be the first ones to experience death penalty. YAN ANG TOTOONG HUSTISYA. If that’s not going to happen, Mr. Duterte, don’t you ever lift a finger of ordering back the death penalty.
Death penalty will not end criminality.
As an ordinary citizen, what I think that will eliminate criminality (I don’t believe in total eradication) is by making the laws free to all. Filing of lawsuits should be free to the ordinary citizens. Because the problem lies in our excessive laws that aren’t properly implemented or if not, already outdated. The problem lies in our excessive laws that are also expensive laws. And laws are useless if poor folks cannot afford it. Lawyers are useless if an acceptance fee amounting to P40,000 would make an ordinary citizen retreat from filing a lawsuit against a big entity or a powerful opponent (Ex. mayor, councilors) because he doesn’t have that kind of money. An ordinary person who is brave to go to a hearing to fight for his rights would retreat if he has to pay a lawyer P3,000 to each hearing the hired lawyer attends to. A hearing that can happen not just one time, two time, but a lot of times. So P3,000 x numerous times of hearing is equals to, you do the math. The problem lies with our slow moving criminal justice system. A case filed and heard in court is a long process that will test your sanity and faith. A case filed and heard in court can go on and on for several years. If after five years there is already a decision, you’re one of the lucky few. But what if the decision did not go to your favor? You can even get a heart attack after waiting for years for justice which you know, and you are very sure of, in your mind, heart, and soul, you could have won because of your evidences presented. You then realize that our laws, no matter how good they are on paper, are useless if you cannot use it to protect you, to punish the oppressors, the perpetrators because you don’t have money. As a result, exploitation of the elite class to the poor and the middle class continues. Corruption and abuse of local government officials favoring “developments” for “income generation” over its constituents’ health and safety continues.
Now, here’s the bad news. My fellow ordinary citizens are clamoring to bring death penalty back, believing it will protect them from further harm from bad people. Believing justice has been served through death penalty. But what if it’s their brother, their friend, or their father was wrongly accused of rape?
“The Supreme Court revealed that seventy-one percent (71%) of the death sentences handed down by the trial courts were wrongfully imposed,” shared Atty. Jose Manuel I. Diokno, a human rights lawyer and chair of Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG). “This means that 7 out of 10 convicts on death row–-most of them poor–-were wrongfully convicted and did not deserve to be there.
“The poor are vulnerable to the death penalty because they have no voice, no money, no power, and lack the resources to hire good lawyers.”
Here is a footage of a death penalty in the Philippines during President Estrada in 1999 of convicted child rapist, Leo Echagaray.* A poor man who committed a grave sin for raping his stepdaughter, who was convicted and shamed endlessly in front of his fellow Filipinos until his death through lethal injection that were maniacally covered by the media.
*Note: Leo Echegaray (11 July 1960 – 5 February 1999) was the first Filipino to be meted the death penalty after its reinstatement in the Philippines in 1993, some 23 years after the last judicial execution was carried out. His death sparked national debate over the legality and morality of the death penalty, which was later suspended on 15 April 2006. (wikipedia.com)